The Continued Fleecing Of America And Its Citizens By The Financial Elites

Is the USA turning into a plutocratic, oligarchical or fascist nation? A growing body of evidence seems to suggest that the answer is affirmative. Especially this is likely the case while the country and its citizens continue to be plundered by greedy affluent lawmakers, banksters and entrepreneurs for personal gain. Meanwhile, it would be well for them and us to note Justice Louis D. Brandeis’s implicit warning that “we can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

The Continued Fleecing Of America And Its Citizens By The Financial Elites

By Emily Spence

Many people are raised with an orientation, indeed an imperative sense, that puts compassion and ethics — ones values and principles — as central to their dealings with others. This foundation becomes part of their identities and shapes the directions that their lives take.

One does not have to look only at charitable institutions to find this to be the case. One can see it in the teacher who works day after day against daunting odds to uplift materially disadvantaged children living in extreme slums. Further, the Girl Scouts, who devise a special project at a senior center, exemplify this mind set when they earnestly strive to bring joy to the elderly of whom many are on their last legs. Likewise, the social workers tirelessly toiling to help families whose homes have been foreclosed and the countless volunteers who gather supplies for victims of disasters typify this focus.

Therefore, one has to wonder about the morality of numerous U.S. government and business leaders, especially the ones who routinely put their own limitless self-gain above the needs of others. What sorts of people are these? Just how did their families and society in general fail them in matters of conscience?

In considering the answers, one often winds up incredulous and outraged by their actions. After all, what kinds of individuals lie about their underlying motives while they systematically destroy the people, the culture and the country of Iraq primarily in order to wrestle control of their oil for companies that favor American interests? What sort of individuals condone torture as their nation’s covert plan to help ensure that domination of the Middle East can be better assured? What sort of individuals publicly talk of service to society and change in which we can all believe while expanding resource wars in order to secure geo-political supremacy over regions rich in fossil fuels at a time during which scientific evidence inarguable points to the need to direct national focus on benign forms of energy?

Certainly, they are aware that this redirection of plans is a necessary precondition for future generations to not face a living hell on Earth due to climate change effects. Surely they must know that they have no moral or legal right to invade other lands for coveted war spoils regardless of the degree that they seem essential to have. Do they?

It is especially worthwhile to ponder the responses to these kinds of questions as one, also, considers that these same individuals, of whom many are U.S. Congressmen, annually allocate fifty-four percent of the federal budget to military related endeavors. Simultaneously, they are mandated to hand over nineteen percent further to the ongoing payment of interest on monies currently owed to maintain their present scale of funding for armed service, bailouts and other reckless ventures.

These circumstances leave a whopping twenty-seven percent left over for ALL other U.S. programs unless, of course, further loans beyond the ongoing intended ones are taken out, i.e., to purchase Swine Flu vaccines. With these additional costs in mind, one can anticipate that legislators will continue in arrangements to  borrow staggering sums of money to sustain their disastrous spending patterns, as is mentioned in “The U.S. Federal Budget Pipeline: Where Do The Dollars Drain?” All the while that individual States, like California, and individuals continue to be devastated by the indirect consequences.

In a similar vein, one questions about the morality of people who keep supporting big business practices and amassing wealth for themselves [1] like modern duplicates of mad King Midas while an increasing number of their fellow Americans wind up jobless and homeless. Meanwhile, a backdrop like this leads Ramsey Clark to suggest, “But we’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy.”

Accordingly, U.S. employment positions continue to transfer to offshore sites to bolster a plan for maximum profits for the already grossly enriched at the expense of the populace at large. Analogously for companies on U.S. soil, cutbacks and closures have a similarly deleterious effect in terms of under and unemployment.

In relation, the public, obviously, cannot make lots of purchases while an inadequate supply of money is coming into households during which time store shelves are overstocked due to past practices wherein the market became saturated with far too many items for a wide variety of products. Consequently, the manufacture of goods grinds to an almost complete halt and the economy continues to tumble.

Yet no Works Progress Administration (WPA) and extended Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) programs are put in place to make up for the financial deficits that average people are experiencing even though the move could, indirectly, jumpstart spending. Further, the groups that stand to fabulously benefit from the status quo remaining as is continue to do so even as the masses flounder.

As Paul Kane points out in “Lawmakers Reveal Health-Care Investments” [2]:

“The list of [lawmakers] who have personal investments in the corporations that will be affected by the [health-care] legislation — which President Obama has called this year’s highest domestic priority — includes Congress’s most powerful leaders and a bipartisan collection of lawmakers in key committee posts. Their total health-care holdings could be worth $27 million, because congressional financial disclosure forms released yesterday require reporting of only broad ranges of holdings rather than precise values of assets.”

“Health care is not the only industry that is both heavily regulated by Congress and heavily invested in by lawmakers. As The Washington Post reported Thursday, more than 20 members of the House leadership and the House Financial Services Committee hold investments in companies that received more than $200 billion in federal bailouts.”

“On the Senate banking committee, at least a half-dozen senators had significant investments in companies that benefited from the $700 billion bailout legislation that the panel helped draft last fall.  Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) reported $18,000 to $95,000 in investments in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bonds, and also that he sold at least $15,000 in Fannie ‘step-up’ bonds at the end of last year. The committee’s ranking Republican, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (Miss.), reported holding $260,000 to $850,000 in money market and retirement accounts with Countrywide, Citigroup and Wachovia.”

Now contrast their bounty with these stark facts of which all were derived from Michael Moore’s investigations. [3] (One can agree with his overall perceptions or not. Either way, it does not change the basic actualities.)

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually reported that 54.5 million people were uninsured for at least part of the year. Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2006. Centers for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/insur200706.pdf

“According to the most recent estimate from the Congressional Budget Office issued in January of this year [2007], for the ten-year period, 2006 through 2016, the projected spending [for medical purposes] is $848 billion. “The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2008 to 2017,” Congressional Budget Office, January 2007. http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/77xx/doc7731/01-24-BudgetOutlook.pdf

“At one point, Moore notes where the U.S. ranks in terms of health care around the world. ‘The United States slipped to No. 37 in health care around the world, just slightly ahead of Slovenia,’ he said. That ranking is based on a 2000 report from the World Health Organization…”

Meanwhile, the health-care industry lobbyists are trying their utmost to guarantee that there are no major shifts in US medical policies. Why would they press for alternatives when it has proven to be such a boon for them and many legislators to keep everything the same? Therefore, they throw almost a million and a half dollars per day at the effort to shape Congressional opinion while sometimes bribing or threatening  government officials in the process. [4]

Concurrently, let’s not forget that these tempted lawmakers are the very same ones who vote on war and black ops budgets for which, if they make certain choices, they’ll be lavishly compensated with money for their reelection campaigns, as well as receive stock option tips and other perks, such as highly lucrative job offers after they leave public office. All considered, what a boon such alluring plans en toto have been!

For example, “members of Congress invested nearly 196 million dollars of their own money in companies that receive hundreds of millions of dollars a day from Pentagon.”[5] At the same time, the heads of companies that receive favorable legislation pertaining to subsidies and bailout cash do not make out poorly either. As such, the salaries for directors of certain organizations and their bonus payments are considerable and, for the ones who don’t get direct funding, they still make out well due to favorable deals made relative to resources (i.e., the petrol, minerals, metals, etc.) indirectly obtained through U.S. military assaults.

As such, they can do well for themselves even when they do not make out as well as the banking/oil Rockefeller family or the Rothschilds, with their respective holdings equaling roughly (US) $11 trillion and (U.S.) $100 trillion according to Gaylon Ross Sr., author of Who’s Who of the Global Elite. [6] Correspondingly, Bank of America chief Ken Lewis made a mere $24.8 million in 2007 while performance bonuses were lavishly paid out in this banksters’ paradise, one managed so poorly that it has taken in at least $25 billion in bailout funds. [7]

This sort of happening being more the norm than not, it is apparent that no importance has been attached to Abraham Lincoln’s counsel: “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.”

With the beefed up surveillance of private citizens by operatives in assorted government agencies and the above sorts of disasters, some researchers are understandably questioning whether the U.S. is slipping towards a permanent plutocratic, oligarchical and/or fascist state. If so for the latter condition, the opinions of Naomi Wolf and Laurence Britt, as well as this following description from the Wikipedia anti-capitalism section, [8] might have an uncomfortable ring of familiarity.

“…Fascism protected the land-owning elites and is regarded as a reaction against the rising power of the working class…

“Adolf Hitler stated in Mein Kampf that ‘the attitude of the State towards capital would be comparatively simple and clear. Its only object would be to make sure that capital remained subservient to the State’. Hitler made a clear distinction between ‘capital which is purely the product of creative labour and … capital which is exclusively the result of financial speculation.’…

“Marxists argue that fascism is a form of state capitalism that emerges when laissez-faire capitalism is in crisis and in need of rescue by government intervention. Fascists have operated from a Social Darwinist view of human relations. Their aim has been to promote ‘superior’ individuals and weed out the weak. In terms of economic practice, this meant promoting the interests of successful businessmen while destroying trade unions and other organizations of the working class. Lawrence Britt suggests that protection of corporate power is an essential part of fascism. Historian Gaetano Salvemini argued in 1936 that fascism makes taxpayers responsible to private enterprise, because ‘the State pays for the blunders of private enterprise… Profit is private and individual. Loss is public and social.’

“Classical liberal economist Ludwig von Mises argued that fascism was collectivist and anti-capitalistic. According to Mises, fascism maintained an illusion of respecting private property, since individuals could not use their property how they wished because the government frequently enacted regulations (on behalf of government allies in the business sector) that were not in line with the functioning of a free market.

“Historian Robert Paxton contends that fascists’ anti-capitalism was highly selective; the socialism that the fascists wanted was National Socialism, which denied only foreign or enemy property rights (including that of internal enemies). They did, however, cherish national producers.”

One might add that they particularly cherish fiscal producers, wizards that magically pull a seemingly endless stream of money out of the air for their favorite recipients. As H. L. Birum, Sr., suggests, “The Federal Reserve Bank is nothing but a banking fraud and an unlawful crime against civilization. Why? Because they ‘create’ the money made out of nothing, and our Uncle Sap Government issues their ‘Federal Reserve Notes’ and stamps our Government approval with NO obligation whatever from these Federal Reserve Banks, Individual Banks or National Banks, etc.”

Moreover, one can easily supplement his views with those of John Adams: “Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.” (Can you imagine the comments that John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and other founders of the nation would make were they to observe a number of contemporary Congressional activities in relation to banks and other organizations?)

At the same time, it’s not all that hard to conclude that, for some time, U.S. government policy has been one typically called “last man standing.” In other words, it is to throw the majority of federal funds into an effort to commandeer the last amounts of nonrenewable (and, in some cases, renewable, although depleting) critical material goods (through global resource battles, programs like NAFTA and so forth) with a sort of survival of the fittest (a modernized Social Darwinian derivative) model in mind.

As Henry Kissinger quipped, “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy” and “control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” In other words, let’s use the troops to enforce hegemony everywhere!
With such a Machiavellian frame of reference for expert guidance, the majority of US federal funds, of course, will continue to be slated for such endeavors as broadening wars, interest payments on further borrowed money and ongoing bailouts. In a similar vein, the fittest do not include the looted American middle and poor classes. They are immaterial and, as such, are mostly ignored or, if in terribly dire straits, pushed  out of homes to live in city streets (90,000 in L.A. alone), tent cities (updated Hoovervilles) and car parks if they are fortunate enough to still have a vehicle in which to live after their domiciles are foreclosed and their jobs are removed. (Meanwhile, such loss is simply another program to enhance the monetary advancement by the elites — the ones fittest to survive in the ever worsening environmental and financial downturns brought on by draconian economic growth policies.)

In the end, one has to ask whether practices that are aimed at government and business leaders mutually servicing each other represent the best interests of Americans and other peoples of the world. Assuming that this is not the case, great accountability must be demanded of these so-called leaders.

If they cannot be made to conform to reasonable moral codes of conduct, the USA will surely become a terrible place to be a citizen for the majority of people who find that, while conditions in their personal lives deteriorate, the wealthy elites make out just fine due to self-enriching agendas, like deficient public health-care programs, that put everyone else in jeopardy. Put another way, “we can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” – Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Emily Spence is an author living in Massachusetts. She has spent many years involved in human rights, environmental and social services efforts.

References:

[1] Google Answers: average income of members of the u.s. congress (http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=85943)

and The Congressional Millionaires Club (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11104.htm).

[2] Lawmakers Reveal Health-Care Investments (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/article/2009/ 06/12/AR2009061204075.html? sid=ST2009061204093).

[3] MichaelMoore.com : SiCKO : ‘SiCKO’ News : AP vs. THE … (http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/news/article.php?id=9990).

[4] Health-care industry spending over $1.4 million per day on lobbying (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/05/AR2009070502770.html),

Ethics Panel Rebukes DeLay (washingtonpost.com) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63387-2004Sep30.html),

DownWithTyranny!: Has The Heath Care Industry Bribed Enough … (http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2009/03/has-heath-care-industry-bribed-enough.html),

MEDIGATE (http://lautenberg.senate.gov/documents/domestic/medicare/medigate.pdf),

Econbrowser: Fiscal Exposure and Medicare Part D (http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2006/01/fiscal_exposure.html),

Lies, bribes and hidden costs – Salon.com (http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2004/04/05/medicare/)

and Who tried to bribe Rep. Smith? – By Timothy Noah – Slate Magazine (http://www.slate.com/id/2091787/).

[5] FINANCE: U.S. Lawmakers Invested in Iraq, Afghanistan Wars – … (ipsnews.net/news.asp? idnews=41893).

[6] The True Evil Doers (http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2009/06/the_true_evil_d.html).

[7] Obama talks tough on CEO pay – Feb. 4, 2009 (http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/04/news/obama.exec.pay.fortune/index.htm),

Executive PayWatch Database (http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/ceou/database.cfm),

Bank Of America To Get Billions More In Bailout … (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/14/bank-of-america-to-get-bi_n_158034.html),

BANK OF AMERICA HAS YET TO REPAY BAILOUT FUNDS TO TARP – New … (http://www.nypost.com/seven/06182009/business/bailout_bonus_at_bofa_174854.htm)

and BofA receives another $20 billion from U.S. bailout fund – … (http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/16/news/companies/bofa_new_bailout/index.htm).

[8] Naomi Wolf: Fascist America, in 10 easy steps | World news | … (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/24/usa.comment),

George W Bush and the 14 points of fascism – Project for the … (http://www.oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm),

and Anti-capitalism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-capitalism).

(DISINFORMATION)–”CIA Had Secret Al Qaeda Plan”

[This is a total disinformation piece.  If there had really been a plan to kill or capture "al-CIA-da" leaders, it wouldn't have set around gathering dust for eight years.  "Al-CIA-da" is the CIA.  Whenever you hear of "Islamists" raising hell and creating mayhem in the Middle East, Africa or Central Asia, you are really hearing the official cover stories for the deadly CIA/Special Forces attacks that are being staged according to Langley's strategic plans. These former "mujahedeen" fighters are ours.  The "jihad" they fight is a battle for oil, plain and simple, hardly the thing that a true "global caliphate" would be concerned about.]

CIA Had Secret Al Qaeda Plan

Initiative at Heart of Spat With Congress Examined Ways to Seize, Kill Terror Chiefs

CIA Had Secret Al Qaeda Plan

Agence France-Presse/Getty ImagesSen. Dianne Feinstein said CIA Director Panetta, above, told lawmakers Vice President Cheney ordered information be withheld from Congress.

By SIOBHAN GORMAN

WASHINGTON — A secret Central Intelligence Agency initiative terminated by Director Leon Panetta was an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives, according to former intelligence officials familiar with the matter.

The precise nature of the highly classified effort isn’t clear, and the CIA won’t comment on its substance.According to current and former government officials, the agency spent money on planning and possibly some training. It was acting on a 2001 presidential legal pronouncement, known as a finding, which authorized the CIA to pursue such efforts. The initiative hadn’t become fully operational at the time Mr. Panetta ended it.

In 2001, the CIA also examined the subject of targeted assassinations of al Qaeda leaders, according to three former intelligence officials. It appears that those discussions tapered off within six months. It isn’t clear whether they were an early part of the CIA initiative that Mr. Panetta stopped.

The revelations about the CIA and its post-9/11 activities have emerged amid a renewed fight between the agency and congressional Democrats. Last week, seven Democratic lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee released a letter that talked about the CIA effort, which they said Mr. Panetta acknowledged hadn’t been properly vetted with Congress. CIA officials had brought the matter to Mr. Panetta’s attention and had recommended he inform Congress.Neither Mr. Panetta nor the lawmakers provided details. Mr. Panetta quashed the CIA effort after learning about it June 23.

The battle is part of a long-running tug of war between the executive branch and the legislature about how to oversee the activities of the country’s intelligence services and how extensively the CIA should brief Congress. In recent years, in the light of revelations over CIA secret prisons and harsh interrogation techniques, Congress has pushed for greater oversight. The Obama administration, much like its predecessor, is resisting any moves in that direction.

Most recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a dispute over what she knew about the use of waterboarding in interrogating terror suspects, has accused the agency of lying to lawmakers about its operations.

Republicans on the panel say that the CIA effort didn’t advance to a point where Congress clearly should have been notified.

CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said the agency “has not commented on the substance of the effort.” He added that “a candid dialogue with Congress is very important to this director and this agency.”

One former senior intelligence official said the program was an attempt “to achieve a capacity to carry out something that was directed in the finding,” meaning it was looking for ways to capture or kill al Qaeda chieftains.

The official noted that Congress had long been briefed on the finding, and that the CIA effort wasn’t so much a program as “many ideas suggested over the course of years.” It hadn’t come close to fruition, he added.

Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said little had been spent on the efforts — closer to $1 million than $50 million. “The idea for this kind of program was tossed around in fits and starts,” he said.

Senior CIA leaders were briefed two or three times on the most recent iteration of the initiative, the last time in the spring of 2008. At that time, CIA brass said that the effort should be narrowed and that Congress should be briefed if the preparations reached a critical stage, a former senior intelligence official said.

Amid the high alert following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a small CIA unit examined the potential for targeted assassinations of al Qaeda operatives, according to the three former officials. The Ford administration had banned assassinations in the response to investigations into intelligence abuses in the 1970s. Some officials who advocated the approach were seeking to build teams of CIA and military Special Forces commandos to emulate what the Israelis did after the Munich Olympics terrorist attacks, said another former intelligence official.

“It was straight out of the movies,” one of the former intelligence officials said. “It was like: Let’s kill them all.”

The former official said he had been told that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney didn’t support such an operation. The effort appeared to die out after about six months, he said.

Former CIA Director George Tenet, who led the agency in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks, declined through a spokesman to comment.

Also in September 2001, as CIA operatives were preparing for an offensive in Afghanistan, officials drafted cables that would have authorized assassinations of specified targets on the spot.

One draft cable, later scrapped, authorized officers on the ground to “kill on sight” certain al Qaeda targets, according to one person who saw it. The context of the memo suggested it was designed for the most senior leaders in al Qaeda, this person said.

Eventually Mr. Bush issued the finding that authorized the capturing of several top al Qaeda leaders, and allowed officers to kill the targets if capturing proved too dangerous or risky.

Lawmakers first learned specifics of the CIA initiative the day after Mr. Panetta did, when he briefed them on it for 45 minutes.

House lawmakers are now making preparations for an investigation into “an important program” and why Congress wasn’t told about it, said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, in an interview.

On Sunday, lawmakers criticized the Bush administration’s decision not to tell Congress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, hinted that the Bush administration may have broken the law by not telling Congress.

“We were kept in the dark. That’s something that should never, ever happen again,” she said. Withholding such information from Congress, she said, “is a big problem, because the law is very clear.”

Ms. Feinstein said Mr. Panetta told the lawmakers that Mr. Cheney had ordered that the information be withheld from Congress. Mr. Cheney on Sunday couldn’t be reached for comment through former White House aides.

The Senate’s second-ranking official, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoed those concerns and called for an investigation, an indication of how the politics of intelligence continue to bedevil the CIA.

Separately, Attorney General Eric Holder is considering whether to order a criminal probe into whether treatment of terrorism detainees exceeded guidelines set by the Justice Department, administration officials said.

President Barack Obama and Mr. Holder have said they don’t favor prosecuting lawyers who wrote legal justifications for interrogation methods that the president and his attorney general have declared to be torture. They have sought to protect CIA officers who followed the legal guidelines.

“The Department of Justice will follow the facts and the law with respect to any matter,” said Matthew Miller, a department spokesman. “We have made no decisions on investigations or prosecutions, including whether to appoint a prosecutor to conduct further inquiry.”

—Evan Perez and Elizabeth Williamson contributed to this article.Write to Siobhan Gorman at siobhan.gorman@wsj.com

Barack Obama urges Russia not to interfere in neighbouring states

[In a hypocritical assessment of Russian policies Obama blasted Russia for not living up to our ideals; the same ideals his government trashes on a regular basis.  Berating Russia having a state controlled press--vs--our corporate/government controlled media, he went on to slam their lack of committment to "universal values"...included the rule of law, the equal administration of justice, and competitive elections."  He means our dual tier society and its dual legal systems (one favoring the rich and another route for the "useless eaters") and our tightly controlled electoral process.  It's time for the revolution, people.]

Barack Obama urges Russia not to interfere in neighbouring states

US president goes on first trip to Russia and calls on Moscow to stop viewing America as an enemy

Barack Obama giving a speech in MoscowPresident Barack Obama delivering a speech in Moscow. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Barack Obama today set out his vision for a new post-cold war world, and urged Russia not to interfere in neighbouring states and to move on “from old ways of thinking”.

In a keynote speech during his first trip to Russia as US president, Obama called on Moscow to stop viewing America as an adversary. The assumption that Russia and the US were eternal antagonists was “a 20th-century view” rooted in the past, he said.

Obama delivered a tough, though implicit, critique of Kremlin foreign policy, rejecting the claim it has “privileged interests” in post-Soviet countries. He said the 19th-century doctrine of spheres of influence and “great powers forging competing blocs” was finished.

“In 2009, a great power does not show strength by dominating or demonising other countries. The days when empires could treat sovereign states as pieces on a chessboard are over,” he said, speaking to graduates from Moscow’s New Economic School.

He added: “As I said in Cairo, given our interdependence any world order that tries to elevate one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. That is why I have called for a ‘reset’ in relations between the United States and Russia.

“America wants a strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia.”

Obama acknowledged that the US needed to play its part in bringing about a fresh start with Russia – “a great power”. And he paid tribute to the achievements of Russian writers and scientists, even managing to quote a line from Pushkin when he told the students: “Inspiration is needed in geometry just as much as in poetry.”

Crucially, though, Obama indicated that Washington would not tolerate another Russian invasion of Georgia. Russia is winding up full-scale military exercises next to the Georgian border amid ominous predictions that a second conflict in the Caucasus could erupt this summer.

On Monday Obama reaffirmed Georgia’s sovereignty – severely undermined by last year’s war and Moscow’s subsequent unilateral recognition of rebel-held Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. Today Obama defended “state sovereignty”, describing it as “a cornerstone of international order”.

He also said that Georgia and Ukraine had a right to choose their own foreign policy and leaders, and could join Nato if they wanted. Russia is deeply opposed to Ukraine’s and Georgia’s accession, and wants the White House to rule out their future membership. Today Obama responded by saying that Nato sought collaboration with Russia, not confrontation.

Earlier, Obama had breakfast with Vladimir Putin, the man whom most people regard as Russia’s real ruler. Last week Obama described Putin, Russia’s prime minister, as having “one foot in the past”. Today, however, he talked to him for two and a half hours – longer than planned and an admission of Putin’s continuing importance. The meeting, their first, was “excellent”, Obama said.

During his speech, however, Obama delivered a withering assessment of Putinism. Without mentioning Russia by name, Obama spelled out the US’s commitment to “universal values”. These included the rule of law, the equal administration of justice, and competitive elections – all things missing from Putin’s vertically managed authoritarian state.

Obama also stressed the importance of “independent media in exposing corruption at all levels of business and government”. Russia’s state-controlled TV has largely snubbed Obama’s first trip to Moscow, apparently on Kremlin orders, either failing to mention him at all or relegating him to the lower regions of the news schedule.

On Monday Obama and Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, agreed a framework document that would see both sides cut their nuclear arsenals by up to a third. Today Obama warned again of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, and urged Moscow to join with the US to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and to end North Korea’s nuclear efforts.

He also reaffirmed that the US would only go ahead with its planned missile defence shield in central Europe – opposed by the Kremlin – if there was an Iranian nuclear “threat”. He said neither the US or Russia would benefit from a nuclear arms race in east Asia or the Middle East.

“In the short period since the end of the cold war we have already seen India, Pakistan and North Korea conduct nuclear tests. Without a fundamental change, do any of us truly believe that the next two decades will not bring about the further spread of nuclear weapons?” he asked.

“That is why America is committed to stopping nuclear proliferation, and ultimately seeking a world without nuclear weapons … And while I know this goal won’t be met soon, pursuing it provides the legal and moral foundation to prevent the proliferation and eventual use of nuclear weapons.”

The White House billed Obama’s Moscow address as a “major foreign policy speech”. It is the third in a series of major speeches that began in April in Prague, where he discussed disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation, and continued in Cairo, where he offered a fresh US approach to the Middle East and Muslim communities.

Later, Obama met the former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. He is due to meet business leaders and hold talks with civil society activists, including the opposition leader and former world chess champion Gary Kasparov.

RAW and MOSSAD and the Invasion of Pakistan, the Gateway to Central Asia, Backdoor to Iran

Mossad, Mossad – Coming Soon To A Town Near You!

By Tariq Saeedi in Ashgabat
The Balochistan Post
5-13-2

In a fascinating plot, full of intrigue and betrayal, Mossad, RAW and Israeli-Russian-Ukrainian drug mafia seem to have joined hands to catch the ultimate prize: The Entire World.
The whole story may never be available but we have put together enough pieces to give you a fair idea of what may be in store for all of us.
There are many ways to tell this story but let us begin at the most convenient point: Recent recruitment drive of Mossad.
“If you are sensitive, creative and charming, Mossad wants you,” says a Mossad recruitment poster published in The Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers on 22 June 2001.
Trying to entice brilliant and talented young Jews, the poster says, “The Mossad has opened its gates. Not to everybody, not to many, but maybe to you”.
Describing the qualities expected of aspiring candidates, the poster explains, “You need to be sophisticated and creative, sensible and sensitive, daring, charismatic and must come with a sense of personal and national mission.”
It goes says on to say that Mossad is looking for people who can “drag, enthrall and motivate.”
The purpose of the poster was to recruit a fresh batch of ‘Case Officers’.
Case officers are the heart of any intelligence network. Their main task is to recruit operatives and informers in foreign countries, particularly in enemy countries, or those with access to secret information around the world.
Mossad’s recruitment ad published in Hebrew
A statement from Israeli Prime Minister’s office elaborates: “Intelligence that a case officer brings in allows the political level to make strategic decisions and is an instrument in the hands of the security bodies to successfully carry out the most complicated missions.”
The statement also adds: “The position requires intermittent service abroad.”
What the statement and the poster omit to mention is that the newly recruited case officers will be assigned to Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
Recruitment drive for case officers was a part of a larger campaign run by Mossad between April 2001 and July 2001. During this period, Mossad sought to recruit case officers, communication specialists, linguists, electronics and computer specialists and entry level operatives (age 22-28).
This was the first time that Mossad used mass media to attract fresh blood. Earlier recruitment consisted of ‘one brings one method’ i.e. an already serving officer was supposed to bring in a trusted friend.
Here we are not going to comment on the odd coincidence that the most extensive recruitment drive by Mossad ran its course just prior to 9/11. Neither are we going to comment on the fact that minimum training period for Mossad officers is 4 months, which means that officers recruited in April 2001 will be ready for field work in September 2001.
Mossad is the nickname of ‘The Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks’ (ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim). A compact body of about 1500 regular employees, Mossad relies on Jews and sympathizers worldwide for its operations. During last couple of years it has begun paying special attention to Pakistan, Iran and Central Asia.
Hi-Tech Mossad
Dan Yahkin, a Jewish analyst, wrote an article which was published on 19 April 2001 in Globes, a Tel Aviv publication. He narrates the story of ‘Gil’ and ‘Or’, pseudonym of two former operatives of Mossad. The contention behind his narrative is that Mossad is as hi tech as any outfit in the world, military or otherwise.
In his interview with Yahkim, ‘Or’ explains, “There are a number of ways of doing things. If I want to infiltrate a base, for example, I can break through the gate, dress up as an officer, or crawl under the fence. In the first year, there were attempts to develop the weapon we developed in the department using a more power-oriented approach. Nothing came of that, and we realized pretty quickly that we had to be audacious, and the more cunning we were the greater our chance of success. It is also more appropriate to the spirit of the place and its operational capabilities.”
That understanding, and the development work that came in its wake, won Or the Israel Security Prize three years ago. “There are two winners every year,” Or relates. “The second project that won, which was also a stunning one, belongs to Intelligence Corps. But there were only 20 people working in our group, while there were some 500 in the project that took second prize, working over 4 years. The strength of what we did lay in its cunning, and that’s very typical of the Mossad’s work.”
Cunning and hi tech, that is the formula for Mossad’s success in most projects it undertakes.
‘Or’ also explains the general composition of a typical Mossad outfit in these words: “There are very sophisticated systems. For example, there are departments involved more in electronics — from VLSI to embedded and RF systems. In my department, 20 percent of the people were involved in electronics and 80 percent were dealing with computers. In other departments, there are other ratios of electronics and computer people and physicists.”
Shedding some light on internal structure of Mossad, ‘Or’ says, “Mossad has a total of eight departments, though some details of the internal organization of the agency remain obscure.
“Collections Department is the largest, with responsibility for espionage operations, with offices abroad under both diplomatic and unofficial cover. The department consists of a number of desks which are responsible for specific geographical regions, directing case officers based at “stations” around the world, and the agents they control.
“Political Action and Liaison Department conducts political activities and liaison with friendly foreign intelligence services and with nations with which Israel does not have normal diplomatic relations. In larger stations, such as Paris, Mossad customarily had under embassy cover two regional controllers: one to serve the Collections Department and the other the Political Action and Liaison Department.
“Special Operations Division, also known as Metsada, conducts highly sensitive assassinations, sabotage, paramilitary, and psychological warfare projects.
“LAP (Lohamah Psichlogit) Department is responsible for psychological warfare, propaganda and deception operations.
“Research Department is responsible for intelligence production, including daily situation reports, weekly summaries and detailed monthly reports. The Department is organized into 15 geographically specialized sections or “desks”, including the USA, Canada and Western Europe, Latin America, Former Soviet Union, China, Africa, the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), Libya, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran. A “nuclear” desk is focused on special weapons related issues.
“Technology Department is responsible for development of advanced technologies for support of Mossad operations. In April 2001, the Mossad published a “help wanted” ad in the Israeli press seeking electronics engineers and computer scientists for the Mossad technology unit.”
Since most Mossad operatives come from hi tech fields, they do the most natural thing when they leave Mossad i.e. they launch a start up company in IT, communications, computers and other related fields. The ‘Or’ of this story launched a successful company after leaving Mossad and his company is now reputedly worth US $ 15 million and employs more than 70 highly qualified personnel.
Such persons usually move their operations to foreign countries and besides making tons of money, continue serving their motherland in hi tech fashion.
Since most former operatives of Mossad are hi tech specialists, it is not difficult for them to launch a start up company and make it successful on its merit alone. While spreading out into Central Asia, Pakistan and Iran, these operatives are likely to arrive with proposals for companies which deal with IT solutions, software engineering, computer and electronics hardware expertise, communications and other related fields.
They are also most likely to enter through high profile and vocal NGOs.
Raw-Mossad Connection
Janes information group, the world’s foremost source on intelligence information, reported in July 2001 that “The Indian spy agency RAW and the Israeli spy agency Mossad have created “four new agencies” to infiltrate Pakistan to target important religious and military personalities, journalists, judges, lawyers and bureaucrats. In addition, bombs would be exploded in trains, railway stations, bridges, bus stations, cinemas, hotels and mosques of rival Islamic sects to incite sectarianism. Pakistani intelligence agencies also said that RAW had constituted a plan to lure Pakistani men between 20 and 30 years of age to visit India so that they could be entrapped ‘in cases of fake currency and subversion’ and then be coerced to spy for India.”
This was high point of cementing an unholy alliance which began much earlier and which continues to tighten its noose around the neck of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.
It appears that RAW and Mossad — either singly or jointly, either covertly or overtly — have been making efforts to penetrate sensitive circles of top echelon in Pakistan.
It cannot be said with certainty but there are some reasons to assume that Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, wittingly or unwittingly, played in the hands of RAW-Mossad masterminds. High ups in Pakistan’s military still believe that Benazir Bhutto has connections with RAW-Mossad nexus and General Pervez Musharraf himself declared her as “security risk” during a chat with Pakistan’s leading editors and correspondents just before his referendum campaign.
Benazir’s visit to India last year at a time when Pakistan was going through one of the worst crises in its history, and her statements there which aimed to undermine the whole foundation of Pakistan, generated more than a flicker of doubt in analytic minds. The basic question arises: Who is Benazir Bhutto? Leaving BB to her own fate, let’s return to RAW-Mossad connection.
What is clear right now is that Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad are collaborating extensively to curb the freedom movement of Kashmir and destabilize Pakistan.
Indian newspaper The Pioneer, wrote on 3 March 2001: “Fencing of the Indo-Pak border is not enough. To check Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism, top security experts of Israel have suggested that hi-tech gadgets ranging from an electronic barrier system of radars to thermal imaging devices should be immediately installed on India’s sensitive international border in J&K and Punjab sectors.
“The team of experts, including officials of the Mossad, the Israeli Army and the Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), also found shocking loopholes in the security arrangements relating to the much-talked about Samjhauta Express. They advised that instead of Lahore, the train should terminate on the Attari border. Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Israeli experts surveyed the 198 km international border in Jammu and Punjab and reviewed the route of the Samjhauta Express with top officials of the Border Security Force.
“Subsequently, former DG of the Border Security Force, E.N. Ram Mohan was appointed as the consultant on border management. Mr. Ram Mohan has recommended that besides radars, aerostate balloons and FLIR equipment be used. India is keen to purchase surveillance aircraft (UAVs) from Israel to gain intelligence teeth. The UAVs could also help the state police in keeping an eye in naxalite-affected areas of Andhra Pradesh. For several years, Mossad and Israel’s internal intelligence agency, Shinbhet, have utilised unmanned air vehicles to patrol the hypersensitive Gaza border.”
Qutbuddin Aziz, former minister in Pakistan embassy in London, wrote an excellent article, titled “Dangerous Nexus between Israel & India.” It was published by a prominent Pakistani newspaper on 1 April 2001. We must quote extensive from this article.
Aziz writes: “Top secret details of Indian Home Minister LK Advani’s visit to Israel in June 2000, show that the deals he has struck with the Israelis would make India and Israel partners in threatening the Muslim world with diabolic conspiracies to fragment and cripple it as a political force in the world. The details of his meetings with Israel’s rulers, particularly the heads of the Israeli Home Ministry and its intelligence agencies, Mossad and Sabak, reveal that the arrangements he has made for joint Indo-Israel espionage operations in key areas of the Muslim world would make the Indian embassies in these Muslim countries the eyes and ears of the worldwide cloak-and-dagger Israeli spy network.
“Under the euphemism of “counter-terrorism”, India is allowing Israel to establish a huge spy establishment in India which will, inter alia, unearth and monitor “Islamic fundamentalist” individuals and groups for elimination by extra judicial process or by cold-blooded murder and kidnapping.
“The most important meeting Indian Home Minister Advani had during his three-day Israeli tour on June 13-16 was with the top brass of Israel’s intelligence agencies in Tel Aviv. Heading the Israeli team was the powerful chief of Israeli police, Yehuda Wilk, with the heads of the Israeli intelligence agencies, Mossad and Sabak, and military officials dealing with Israel’s punitive and espionage operations against Arabs in Israel, Palestine and neighbouring states such as Lebanon and Syria. Senior officials from the Israeli Foreign Office and the defence and home ministries attended this meeting. Israeli experts in bomb detection were also present.
“Mr Advani’s large team included India’s highest-level spymasters such as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Mr Shayamal Dutta, the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Mr R K Raghvan, the head of the Indian Border Security Force, Mr E M Ram Mohan, Indian Home Ministry’s powerful Secretary K Pande who oversees the work of the infamous Indian spy agency, RAW, and liaises with the Indian Foreign Office in respect of undercover RAW agents working in Indian embassies abroad, and a senior officer of India’s military intelligence agency (equivalent of Pakistan’s ISI).
“In this top-level meeting in Tel Aviv on June 14, Advani reportedly thanked the Israeli government for its immense help to India in security matters and spoke of the dangers India and Israel face from their common enemies ie, Muslim neighbours.
“Advani, it is reported, highly praised the help provided by Mossad and army commando personnel to the Indian army in the war on “Muslim militants” in Kashmir and against “Muslim terrorists” such as the “Memon brothers” of Mumbai in Dubai. Advani said he had, throughout his political career, advocated India’s recognition and friendship with Israel and that his party had played a key role in forcing Congress government to have full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992.
“He lauded the Indo-Israeli cooperation in the military, economic and other fields. Advani recalled that India had voted in favour of a US-sponsored motion in the UN for rescinding a UN resolution that equated Zionism with racism. Mr Advani explained at length India’s security problems in which the danger from Pakistan and Indian Muslims getting Arab money loomed large. Advani gave a long list of the special services in spying and the anti-insurgency devices and spy equipment India urgently needs from Israel to combat “Muslim terrorism”.
“In the June 14 Tel Aviv meeting, the Israeli Police Chief, Yehuda Wilk, profusely praised India for its friendship with Israel and pledged help to the Indian government in combating “Muslim terrorism” that poses new threats to Israel and India. The heads of India’s intelligence agencies then briefed the Israeli side in the meeting on the ground situation in India in respect of “Muslim terrorists”, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, and the new dangers coming up for India and Israel because of the Pakistani bomb and the fear that Pakistan may give its nuclear weapons to the anti-Israel Arabs.
“The Indian side showed a keen interest in learning from Israeli security experts how they had run the slice of Lebanon which Israel ruled for 18 years and gave up recently. Some information about the Israeli torture and investigation methods was gathered by the Indian side from the Israelis with regard to dealing with Arab dissidents within Israel and in the Palestinian Authority region.
“The Indians gave the Israelis a long shopping list of spying, torture and surveillance equipment such as electronic fencing of sensitive sites, laser systems, short-range rockets, eagle-eyed long distance snipers, observation blimps, giant shields, night vision device, unmanned aircraft of the MALAT wing of the Israeli Aircraft Industries Limited, special protective dress and gear for security personnel, cross border snopping devices and gadgets, training and deployment of spies and the special gear for them, use of computers and Internet for espionage and disinformation, code-breaking, tailing of enemy agents and their elimination, nuclear espionage, purloining state secrets of hostile countries and pooling them for the good of India and Israel and their mutual friends.
“The Israelis were interested in having access to the secret reports of Indian undercover RAW diplomats from certain Muslim countries of special interest to Israel (especially Pakistan, Libya and Iran). India is apparently willing to grant access to Israeli agents to the Indian Home Ministry’s Central Intelligence Processing Unit (CIPU) in New Delhi. This was recently set up under Advani’s direction with Israeli and US help. A handpicked RAW officer, trusted by Advani, heads this unit. Israel wants full access to its information data. The Indian government has already allowed access to it by American intelligence agencies now working with the Indian government on so-called anti-terrorist assignments.”
Federation of American Scientists website comments on RAW in these words : “RAW has engaged in disinformation campaigns, espionage and sabotage against Pakistan and other neighboring countries. RAW has enjoyed the backing of successive Indian governments in these efforts. Working directly under the Prime Minister, the structure, rank, pay and perks of the Research & Analysis Wing are kept secret from Parliament.”
Tarek Fatah, a scholar settled in Canada, wrote: “Britain’s authoritative and respected defense publication, Jane’s Terrorism & Security Monitor, reports that Israel and India have formed a military relationship and that Israeli intelligence is active in Occupied Kashmir.
“It says: “Israeli intelligence agencies have been intensifying their relations with India’s security apparatus and are now understood to be heavily involved in helping New Delhi combat Islamic militants in the disputed province of Kashmir…”
Ed Blanche writes in Janes’ Security on 14 August 2001: “Israeli intelligence agencies have been intensifying their relations with India’s security apparatus and are now understood to be heavily involved in helping New Delhi combat Islamic militants in the disputed province of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state which lies at the core of the conflict with neighbouring Pakistan.
“Israel has several teams now in Kashmir training Indian counter-insurgency forces to fight the dozen separatist guerrilla groups operating in the Indian-controlled sector of the disputed state.
“The exact extent of the involvement in Kashmir by Israel’s intelligence agencies is far from clear, but it fits into Israel’s increasing focus on events in Central Asia, and as far a field as Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim state, to counteract Islamic fundamentalism, which it perceives as a major threat.
Shimon Peres, currently Israel’s foreign minister, said during a visit to New Delhi in January 2001 (shortly before he took his current post in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coalition government) that Israel was prepared to co-operate with India to fight terrorism. Weeks earlier, an Israeli counterterrorism team, including military intelligence specialists and senior police commanders, paid a visit to Indian-administered Kashmir and other regions of the country that are grappling with anti-government militants to assess India’s security needs.”
If there is still any doubt as to the real intentions of Israel, then please see this statement issued by David Ben Gurion, the first Israeli Prime Minister. His words, as printed in the Jewish Chronicle, 9 August 1967, leave nothing to imagination:
“The world Zionist movement should not be neglectful of the dangers of Pakistan to it. And Pakistan now should be its first target, for this ideological State is a threat to our existence. And Pakistan, the whole of it, hates the Jews and loves the Arabs.
“This lover of the Arabs is more dangerous to us than the Arabs themselves. For that matter, it is most essential for the world Zionism that it should now take immediate steps against Pakistan.
“Whereas the inhabitants of the Indian peninsula are Hindus whose hearts have been full of hatred towards Muslims, therefore, India is the most important base for us to work there from against Pakistan.
“It is essential that we exploit this base and strike and crush Pakistanis, enemies of Jews and Zionism, by all disguised and secret plans.”
One of the greatest abilities of Mossad is that it can mobilize US resources anywhere to protect Israeli interests. Now when Pakistan has already allowed US forces to use its soil, air and intelligence, is not it possible that Mossad’s clever brains workout a scenario and push the American troops to do what the Mossad would like to do in Pakistan?
Think about it.
Leila Rezaiva in Dushanbe and Shokhrat Muradov in Tashkent also contributed in this story.
© 2000 – 2002 The Balochistan Post. All rights reserved. http://www.balochistanpost.com/item.asp?ID=1847

Operation Blue Tulsi: 15 Years in Planning, 10 Years in Preparation and Today in Execution

Operation Blue Tulsi: 15 Years in Planning,

10 Years in Preparation and Today in Execution

By Xavia Team (c) 2009

WWW.AHMEDQURAISHI.COM

http://paknationalists.googlegroups.com/web/Hoax-GovtOfBalochInExile.jpg

QUETTA, Pakistan—In the late eighties two junior intelligence officers one Pakistani other Indian faced each other on opposite sides of the law.

The Pakistani intelligence officer had caught the Indian agent on Pakistani soil with incriminating evidence. Indian agent knew his life had come to an end. However, everything has a price. And his freedom was worth a little less than half a million rupees.

A few days later the Indian agent was sitting back at home, free as a bird. And life went on for several more years until the fateful year of 1994 when the two old “chaps” met again. This time officially. The Indian agent had climbed the ladder to an important post in the government. At this side of the border the junior Pakistani agent, against all odds had become one of the top bosses at Federal Investigation Agency. Of course, this was the infamous Rehman Malik. (See: Pakistan’s Zionist Security Advisor).

The Indian side wanted Pakistani Government’s help in reducing cross-border terrorism. But Rehman Malik offered a lot more than mere reduction in “cross-border” activity.

He had been appointed as Additional Director FIA and yielded immense power in the country. Additionally he had become the right-hand-man of Asif Ali Zardari, stashing his looted money all over the world.

Malik offered the Indians direct access to the jihadists he would capture.

Somewhere along the line Israel also became a party to the deal and soon Mossad agents were carrying out

investigations of the captured (ISI backed) jihadists on Pakistani soil. There were millions to be made from the deal and of course Rehman Malik was working in tandem with this immediate boss Ghulam Asghar, head of the FIA and under the auspices of Asif Ali Zardari.

ISI, Pakistan Military and top brass quietly kept a close watch. Although painful but capture of a few foot soldiers was bearable in the bigger national interest.  (more here)

Cheney ‘ordered CIA to hide plan’

Dick Cheney - file image

Dick Cheney played a key role in US anti-terror policy after 9/11

The head of the CIA has accused former US Vice-President Dick Cheney of concealing an intelligence programme from Congress, a top US senator says.

The existence of the programme, set up after 9/11, was hidden for eight years and even now its nature is not known.

Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein confirmed CIA chief Leon Panetta told Congressional committees he had abandoned the project on hearing of it.

He said that Mr Cheney was behind the secrecy, Sen Feinstein said.

There has been no comment from Mr Cheney.

War of words

The California senator, who is chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, told Fox News Sunday that Mr Panetta told her about the programme to her on 24 June, shortly after hearing about it, and said he had cancelled it.

The Bush administration may have broken the law, Sen Feinstein said, adding that Congress should never be kept in the dark, even though the country was still in shock after the 9/11 attacks.

“This is a big problem,” she said.

“I understand the need of the day… but I think you weaken your case when you go outside the law.”

But Texas Republican John Cornyn told Fox News that the allegations were part of political moves to distract attention from problems faced by Democrat leaders in Congress.

The claims come amid an increasingly bitter row between the CIA and Congress over whether key information was withheld about other aspects of the agency’s operations.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has claimed that the CIA misled her about interrogation methods including waterboarding, while other senior Democrats have quoted Mr Panetta as admitting that his agency regularly misled Congress before he took office.

Leon Panetta

Panetta is said to have closed the programme when he discovered it

Details of the newly-revealed secret programme have still not been divulged, but sources say it did not relate to the CIA’s rendition programme, interrogation methods or a controversial domestic surveillance project.

Officials quoted by the New York Times say the programme was launched by anti-terror operatives at the CIA soon after the 2001 attacks, and involved planning and training but never became fully operational.

Another unnamed official told AP it was an embryonic intelligence-gathering effort, aimed at yielding intelligence that would be used to conduct covert operations abroad.

But the BBC’s Kim Ghattas, in Washington, says there is some debate in the intelligence world about how significant the programme actually was.

In the end, regardless of the details the debate now is about the secrecy that surrounded the programme and whether by keeping it secret the Bush administration broke the law, our correspondent says.

Mr Panetta – who took over directorship of the CIA under President Obama’s administration – is said to have learnt about the programme only on 23 June.

The next day he called an emergency meeting with congressional intelligence committees to tell them about its existence and to say that it was being cancelled.

Veto threat

The allegations come as Democrats in Congress are trying to push through new rules that would increase the number of members of Congress who are told about covert operations.

The White House is threatening to veto the bill, fearing that operational secrecy could be compromised.

The CIA has not commented on the reports of Mr Cheney’s role.

“It’s not agency practice to discuss what may or may not have been said in a classified briefing,” said spokesman Paul Gimigliano.

“When a CIA unit brought this matter to Director Panetta’s attention, it was with the recommendation that it be shared appropriately with Congress. That was also his view, and he took swift, decisive action to put it into effect.”

A CIA spokesman insisted earlier this week that “it is not the policy or practice of the CIA to mislead Congress.”